Facebook has decided to remove its messenger feature from the main app and the change is likely to take effect within two weeks. The social networking website has notified users in some European countries that they will need to download the Facebook Messenger, a separate app, to continue enjoying the chatting services.
However, this change will only impact iOS and android users. iPad will not have this change, it has been further learnt. While, iOS will allow for switching between the apps with a single touch, android users are not expected to be this lucky and they will have to individually switch between the apps.
The news first gained momentum when wire service, Reuters, reported that Facebook had notified its European users that they will need to download Facebook Messenger to continue using the service since they are removing it from their main app.
Then, Reuters reported that Facebook had issued them a statement, in which, the firm had said the decision to drop the chat feature from the main app was taken to “improve the chatting experience.” The statement said that Facebook Messenger had been built to offer “fast and reliable messaging experience” and it now “made sense” for the company to focus their “energy and resources” towards enhancing that experience.
Following this isolation of the messaging service from the Facebook app, the firm is expected to also introduce the free calling service to the Messenger app, which has been introduced just recently on the main app’s messenger service. Furthermore, once the messaging service is removed from the main aap, the size of the latter is expected to reduce, thereby, offering better networking speeds.
Even though only European countries have been sent the change notification, in an unspecified period of time, downloading of Facebook Messenger for chatting will be made mandatory for users all over the world. Once the change is implemented globally, the chat option will be removed from the main app entirely. Until then, a home button will be provided on the Facebook app to make the switch between the social networking website and the messenger app.
The reaction to this news has been mixed. Some said the move is a positive step. A review in PCMag said the idea of having Facebook text messages cordoned off from the instant messages is welcoming.
On the other hand, in his blog, Lance Ulanoff of popular tech website, Mashable believes the separation of the messenger service from the main app “is a terrible idea,” mainly because switching between two apps is going to be a “pain.”
Since its launch three years ago, the messenger service has been successful. Ulanoff pointed out that separating the messenger can lead to people eventually losing interest in chatting on Facebook’s messaging system, which can lead to a failure of the service, as the success of it lies largely on the fact that it is within the main app and therefore, easy to use.
Meanwhile, Facebook also said that Facebook Messenger app has seen a 70 percent growth since its last update and people are widely already using their messenger app. Hence, the company’s decision to remove the messenger service from the main app will not be a drastic change for many users. At present, the social networking website has 1.23 billion users, of which approximately one billion access their Facebook profiles at least once a month via a mobile phone.
By Faryal Najeeb